Nativity sets depict the story of Jesus’ birth and serve as a reminder during the Christmas holidays. However, you do not have to create the scene at Christmas time only. You can set up a small nativity set in a special place indoors and use it as a reminder of your faith year round. Position the characters according to the narration of the birth or according to your preferences.
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Clean off an area for the nativity set. Indoor nativity pieces are usually small enough to fit on a shelf, a table or other small surface. If you wish, place a decorative cloth at the center of the display area to enhance the nativity scene and prevent scratches.
Put the baby in the manger and place the manger at the center of the display area. Place the parents on either side of the manger or behind it so they appear to gaze down at the baby.
Arrange the shepherds in front of the nativity scene, on the left or right side of the manger. Place the farm animals in front of the shepherds or behind them. Sometimes, the farm animals are in front of the manger as a symbol of the baby’s purity. Nativity sets usually include lambs and donkeys for the farm animals.
Stand the three Magi across from the shepherds and on the other side of the manger. You could also place them further away from the baby than the shepherds if you wish to be true to the story, which says that they arrived after the shepherds. Place the camels behind the Magi. If you have chosen to place the farm animals in front of the manger, however, then place the camels next to them.
Put the angel behind the manger to complete the scene, if your set includes one. When included, the angel is usually kneeling to gaze at the child in a prayerful way. However, some manufacturers design the angel to float above the scene so it appears to watch over the characters. Such sets usually include a means to suspend the angel in the air.